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Elias Lieberman Papers

An inventory of his collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: LDC
Date: 02 Dec 2008

Biographical History

Elias Lieberman (1883-1969) was an American poet and educator, best known for his poem "I Am An American."

Lieberman was born in St. Petersburg, Russia on October 30, 1883 to Nathan David and Sophia (Elbaum) Lieberman. The family immigrated to America in 1891. Upon graduating from the City College of New York with his A.B. in 1903, Lieberman began working as an English teacher at a public school. Lieberman went on to earn his M.A. (1906) and Ph.D. (1911) from New York University. On July 1, 1913, he married Rose Kiesler with whom he had two children, Amy and James. After years of working as an English teacher and high school principal, Lieberman accepted a position with the New York Board of Education in 1940, as an associate superintendent of schools in charge of the junior high school division.

Lieberman's first major publication was American Short Story, published in 1912, followed by Paved Streets, published in 1918. He was a member of the Poetry Society of America and served as a judge for various national poetry contests. Lieberman also worked as an associate editor for Puck, literary editor for The American Hebrew, and contributing editor for Current Literature. He died on July 13, 1969 in South Richmond Hill, NY.

Selected Works

1912 American Short Story
1918 Paved Streets
1926 Poetry for Junior High Schools
1930 Ancient Mariner and Poems of the Sea (editor)
Hand Organ Man
1931 Poems for Enjoyment
1940 Man in the Shadows
1954 To My Brothers Everywhere
1976 Notation in Haste

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Elias Lieberman Papers contains Biographical material, Correspondence, Memorabilia, and Writings from the American poet.

Biographical material consists of biographical notes on Lieberman, as well as award announcements and reviews of some of Lieberman's works (copies of these reviews are also located in the Writings series).

Most pieces of Correspondence in the collection are incoming letters regarding Lieberman's works, although two of the letters are matched with Lieberman's reply.

Memorabilia consists of a variety of materials related to Lieberman's life and works, such as an advertisement for a recording of Lieberman reading "I Am An American" and "To My Brother's Everywhere," programs for events honoring Lieberman's achievements, and Lieberman's bookplates.

The final series, Writings, consists of both Lieberman's works and works written by others. With the exception of a single newspaper clipping from the New York Times, "School in the Good Old Days," all of Lieberman's works in the collection are pieces of poetry. The Works by others subseries mainly consists of reviews of Lieberman's works produced in pamphlet form (copies of these reviews are also located in the Biographical material series). The subseries also contains a manuscript of James Huneker that may be a book review.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection contains four series: Biographical material, Correspondence, Memorabilia, and Writings. The Correspondence is arranged chronologically, while the Memorabilia is arranged alphabetically by type (i.e. advertisements, bookplates, programs, tributes). Writings is divided into two subseries, Works by Lieberman and Works by others, within which materials are arranged alphabetically by title.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

The E. P. Dutton & Company, Inc. Records contains production and publicity materials related to Elias Lieberman's To My Brothers Everywhere, published by E. P. Dutton & Company in 1954.

Subject Headings


Braithwaite, William Stanley, 1878-1962.
Huneker, James, 1857-1921.
Lieberman, Elias, 1883-1969 -- Archives.
Lombard, Maria Catarina.
McCormick, James H.
Schmidt, Karl.
Shipman, Samuel, 1883-1937.
Wise, Stephen Samuel, 1874-1949.

Corporate Bodies

Century Company.
Charles Scribner's Sons.
Piney Woods School.
State University of New York at Buffalo, University Libraries.
University of Kentucky, Libraries.


American literature -- 20th century.
American literature -- Jewish authors.
American poetry -- 20th century.
Educators -- United States.
Jews, American.
Poets, American -- 20th century.
Russian Americans.

Genres and Forms

Advertising fliers.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts (document genre)
Programs (documents)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Elias Lieberman Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Elias Lieberman, 1964 and 1966.

James Gibbons Huneker manuscript gift of Elias Lieberman, 1967.

Table of Contents

Biographical material